Focus, Discipline, Dedication
The pressure of training, working and taking care of myself became overwhelming.
It can be a lot to take in but I had to remember that I chose this. I focused on taking more time to meditate, organize and focus on my schedule.
The mileage increased and it became a challenge to get moving. Before each run, I told myself “You have to keep running”.
The thought of running 20 miles was unnerving.
I went into it thinking “If I keep going, I’ll get there”
When I started the run, you could feel the dedication in the air. The 20 miler is a true test of how you’ll do on marathon day.
I looked at this run as a way to see where I did well and where I could improve.
I felt good until mile 11 where I hit my first wall.
We were running on the bike path for 10 miles, I got bored.
Knowing I was coming off the bike path, I was able to get more excited about the rest of the run.
At mile 16, I hit the wall again. I pushed past it by repeating positive affirmations.
I was happy to finish in 3 hours and 26 minutes.
Food: Salmon, Peanut Butter, Black Beans, Hummus, Brown Rice, Veggies, Green Leaf Lettuce,Tomato, Garlic&Onions, Acai, Orange Juice, Nuun Electrolytes
During this training cycle, I’ve been focusing on listening to my body. When I knew that week 9 would be higher in mileage, I prepared my mind and body for the work. I made sure I ate well, hydrated, slept, stretched and remained positive.
The hardest part of the week was finding the time to get the miles in and showing up to the workouts.
After a tough week, decreasing the mileage was a relief.
Though the endurance training decreased, the intensity of the workouts increased. I pushed hard to complete the speed workouts and hill repeats.
At the end of the training week, I made sure I rested, soaked, stretched and relaxed. I rolled out my legs using my new Vyper Vibrating Foam Roller.
“VYPER VG1 is a cutting-edge fitness and recovery device that uses pressure and vibration to improve the body’s overall physical performance.” I love it! I highly recommend it for distance runners and athletes.
Foods: Fish,Vegetarian Meat Substitutes, Rice,Pasta, Green Juice.
My body was starting to feel it. On Wednesday night, I had knee pain and tight quadriceps. When I would stop and start again, my knees would ache. The next day I rolled out my quads and stretched very well.
I knew it would be imperative to keep stretching everything out to avoid injury.
On Thursday we ran 10 miles. It was tough running a long run on a weekday.
Friday night I rolled out and did yoga before the long run.
Our 18-mile long run we previewed miles 10-26.2 of the LA Marathon.
I started off strong and held a consistent pace until mile 12&13. I’m not sure if I had flashbacks of that part of the race last year but I felt sluggish and tired.
After a short water break at the end of 13, I found more energy.
We had another fuel station from Lululemon at mile 14. I knew I had only 4 more so I pushed harder and finished in 3 hours. My average pace was 10 minutes and 5 seconds.
If I kept that pace for the marathon, I’ll finish in my goal time.
Food: Smoked Salmon, Cod, Egg Whites, Avocado, Brown Rice, Salad, Shrimp Stir Fry
Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle
I’ve learned from previous training that it’s important to listen to my body. I took an extra rest day and decreased the number of miles I ran.
The part of the training that makes is so difficult is making time.
For example, during a high mileage week, we’ll have to run 10 miles on a weekday.
I come home from work, take a short nap, run, eat dinner, shower, sleep and do it all over again.
I’ve had to make sure I stay on top of time management and taking care of myself.
If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit
My Saturday long run was tough. When I started the run, I wasn’t as focused and the run felt forced. At mile 8, I had a minor asthma flare-up.
I had to take a short break to get my breathing right. I didn’t over exert myself because I needed to finish the run.
It was not my best long run at all.
I felt defeated but I knew that I did the best I could. I focused on resting and recovering after the long run.
Though I was tired… I pushed through!
Food: Veggie Pasta ( Whole Wheat Pasta, Zucchini, Squash, Tomatoes, Garlic, Onion, Bell Peppers, Vegetarian Sausage) Brown Rice, Spinach, Green Leafy Vegetables, Peanut Butter Toast, Beans, Grilled Veggies
You have to fall in order to rise
The week started off strong, I ran 10 miles on Tuesday and did hill sprint repeats on Wednesday.
Thursday I went out to run 10 miles but I was unable to finish. At Mile 5, I tripped over the sidewalk, fell and dislocated my shoulder. I was rushed to the Emergency Room to have my shoulder put back in.
The pain was excruciating. X Rays were taken to confirm the dislocation but there was no fracture.
The doctors said that I wouldn’t be able to do my long run (22 miles) that was scheduled on Saturday.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I focused on staying positive. I used the time off to rest and heal. I chose to aid at the water stations to keep my spirits up.
After the fall, I had to assess what went wrong. I was tired and running at night. The combination was a set up for failure.
As I did the week prior, I should’ve taken a day off. After the fall, I knew I needed to take a break.
I did a long bike ride on the stationary bike and the Stairmaster to keep my legs active but took a week off from running.
During the time off I was able to reflect on what went wrong.
I wasn’t listening to my body. I should’ve rested when I felt tired but I pushed too hard.
The fall was a humbling experience.
It reminded me that I have to be more cautious as well taking more time out to care for myself.
Food: (Reduced Carbohydrates)Peanut Butter, Brown Rice, Wild Cod, Vegetables, Green Juice, Turmeric&Ginger (to reduce inflammation).
Thank you for following my marathon training journey. Stay tuned for Part Four of the LA Marathon Training Series. You can also follow my Instagram Stories for more up to date news: @Christal_Lauren.
Angela BowieJune 2, 2018
This is such an inspiration. “”If you get tired, rest don’t quit” is my favorite quote. I have to admit that I often times rest tooo long which becomes quitting. Reading this and seeing the results of you not giving up is motivation for me.
Christal LaurenJune 6, 2018
Thank you girl! I’m glad this piece motivated you. Keep pushing!